The Writings on the Wall – Intolerant Love for Graffiti + Street Art

While some might think of it as vandalism and/or “illegal activity,” I have a high tolerance for street art. In fact I would even go as far to say that I kind of adore graffiti; well a lot of it anyhow. I’m not a fan of tagging as I find to be rudimentary and – for the most part – unattractive, but I dig well-articulated and executed stencils, murals and paste-ups that often enliven public areas by breathing new life into them, or at least encourage residents to think about underlying political or social issues in a very different way.

Of course there's a peeing Invader...of course.

Of course there’s a peeing Invader…of course.

I’ve enjoyed countless afternoons walking around a city (be it Barcelona, Brussels or Beirut) and exploring it from the ground up (eating my way from East to West…and from North to South for that matter). As I wander around I’m diligent about keeping an eye out for someone’s mark of creativity. It’s a game of graffiti Where’s Waldo as sometimes I’ll come across a piece of art in the most unlikely of places: above a street sign, in a doorway, wrapped around a lamppost, glued to the side of a bus or even painted on a sewer grate.

graffiti brussels

It might sound a bit odd, but I take in a lot more of my surroundings and get a wildly different perspective of a city this way. It’s nice to come across a piece of graffiti or street art that seemingly took a lot of time and effort to execute. It’s equally fun to contemplate and deconstruct the message (if there is one) of the sender.

It's what mom always told us: don't follow leaders.

It’s what mom always told us: don’t follow leaders.

So in honour of this Intolerant’s #urbangraffitistreetartlove (uh huh, I just hashtagged that), I figured I’d add an extra category to my blog for the purpose of periodically sharing photos of street art/graffiti finds from cities around the world.

I mean, why not? It’s like going to the Tate Modern, but without the hefty price tag.

brussels graffiti

That's a cat, with a penis. Not sure what the message is, but I'm sure the artist had something in mind.

That’s a cat (or maybe a dog), with a penis. Not sure what the message is, but I’m sure the artist had something in mind.

*Photos in this post are graffiti/street art finds around Brussels.

4 comments

  1. Remember the phrase… “If so and so told you to jump off the bridge, would you do it?….Think… use your head.
    It’s imprinting.

    1. Ah yes, “don’t follow leaders.” I’m sure that artist was thinking of his/her mother when they put that one up. 😉

  2. Awesome pictures! I also have an intolerant love for them 🙂 – they make cities more interesting to explore. I love the way how you describe it as “Where’s Waldo”.

    1. Thanks Aggy! Graffiti/street art certainly has its perks, and some of it is just downright breathtaking.

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